WHEELING, W.Va. – The Wheeling Nailers announced that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
The Nailers will continue to be the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL.
“This is truly an exciting announcement for us to make,” said Nailers president Jim Brooks. “We have always had two main goals in our hockey operations, win games on the ice and help our players reach their goals of moving up and someday playing in the NHL. This affiliation will help us achieve both as now we will have players on our team from two great NHL organizations and our players will have two sets of eyes continuously watching their development.”
The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
The ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2006-07 and for the past 17 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.
In each of the last two seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL and there were over 800 call-ups involving more than 500 players.
In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.